The inspirational Ed Balls addresses the nation
Let us rejoice! In another historic speech, Comrade Balls has decreed that henceforth the Motherland will "the best place in the world for our children to grow up in".
Under the new 13 Year Plan, the State Schools Commissariat will purge classrooms of bourgeois elements. Counter-revolutionary teaching methods will be rooted out, and comrade teachers re-educated to embrace the new socialist future!
Patriotic Parenthood will be the new imperative! Every child will have a Life Plan, personally approved by our Great Helmsman. Freed from the burden of choice, joyful parents will devote their entire energies to implementing the Plan. And officers of the State Parenting Bureau will be on hand to provide guidance and monitoring facilities.
So what will Balls' ludicrous "plan" cost?
According to his press release, it will be £1bn over the next three years, largely to be spent on playgrounds and haven't-we-heard-this-a-few-times-before youth clubs.
But as usual, it's all funny money. In particular, his total budget is unchanged from the Comprehensive Spending Review totals set in October, so all he's doing here is rearranging the deckchairs. Although for some reason he hasn't yet told us which items he's cutting.
On one level of course, this sort of nonsense has no real world effect whatsoever. But at the margin, it makes teaching in the state sector even less attractive. There's even more central direction and budget direction.
We can confidently expect the headteacher shortage will get even worse (see many previous blogs, eg here).